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  • Writer's pictureTerri Tomoff

Afterthoughts on PennNational Quilt Retreat!

Low Expectations is the best...

Have you ever gone somewhere with lower expectations and come to find out it was all a pleasant surprise? Yep, that was this weekend.

I’ve been on many quilting retreats in a four-state area with my quilting guild and quilting bees. We typically go to the same few places, and everything works out for us. Years ago, with close to 40 people at a more rustic retreat center in West River, Maryland, we would have to share a 6’ table with another sewist. Those days are long forgotten today, as the new wave of retreats yields each with our own table. That is a big deal since we take so much stuff to sew little triangles (Yes, I'm being facetious).

This past weekend was the best surprise of all for me! Except for the easy, peasy 2-hour drive slightly over the border from Maryland to Pennsylvania, we each got an 8’ table. Do you know how long an eight-foot table is? It goes on forever, yet we all cover it well with everything.

Eleven people shared food, camaraderie, sewing strategies (color/color placement/arrangements), and deepened friendships. The key for me is the friendships made and maintained on a weekend trip. We come from all walks of life, yet the common denominator is our sewing/quilting.

As our contact for Penn National, Karen T. did a terrific job describing the area and what it all entailed, not only the space available to us in mid-December but also some of the shopping nearby (a quilt shop or two and much more). A few months ago, I decided to take a single room (hotel-style dorms), a little extra than sharing, but worth every single penny - another bonus as the room was way bigger than advertised!

I’m thankful I was focused on every project I brought to work on each day (I sewed my brains out!) - one spilling over to three days, but, hey, who is counting? Plus, my table sewing sister, Linda, was amazing, and I loved catching up with her as she hails from Charlottesville, VA, and we rarely see each other (and then there was COVID-19). Another sewing sister, Teresa M., came North from Mississippi and joined in on the fun too. It's been years since we've sewed together, but the years melted away once again in catching up with each other's lives.

I’m home, unpacked, and showered with a full belly from (leftovers) dinner. I didn't know what to expect this weekend, but it was better than anything I was possibly "expecting."

It’s the little things…



Photos: 1) Lunch table is like Cheers - L-R: Peggy, Jacque, Deb Hoppe, Karen Todd, Elfrieda, Cappy Phillips, Janet McCabe, and Joan. 2) Teresa M and Cappy, and 3) The Nomes made by Linda Boone (more on Linda tomorrow)!


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